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“Great location for the best restaurants in St. Martin” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel L'Esplanade

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Hotel L'Esplanade
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   On the Hill of Grand Case | St. Martin, Grand Case 97150, St. Maarten-St. Martin   |  
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Pay 5 nights, get 2 free
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
Lafayette, Louisiana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great location for the best restaurants in St. Martin”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013 via mobile

Lovely room, great service, and perfect location for easy access to some delightful restaurants. The pool was quiet with a nice bar with grilled sandwiches. Wish the location had been on the beach, but it was just a short walk away. Parking was easy and the grocery was only a two minute drive away. Would go back again without hesitation.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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610 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

The L 'Esplanade is everything it claims to be. Great views of the water; within walking distance of the restaurants in town; easy access to the main roads to Marigot and Orient Bay; and very nice rooms. Even though it's a hotel, the loft we stayed in has what amounts to a full kitchen. That makes it easy to save a little money on breakfast and lunch if you want, or if you want to get take out from of the places downtown.

The grounds are well maintained and the staff is very cordial and helpful. Take their advice and rent your car through the Justice car rental agency. They will pick you up at the airport, and deliver you back when it's time to leave. It is very convenient.

Take loads of cash with you if you are an American. A large number of restaurants and bars will accept USD as equal to Euro's if you pay cash. That's a pretty nice discount. There are also a pretty large number of places who will not accept credit cards at all. You need to be prepared.

You can go to Orient Beach if you want, but it's big and crowded and on windy days not very nice. We very much preferred Friar's Bay, and Baie Rouge. PInel Island is nice but it's an expensive day. We also highly recommend the 12 metre regatta adventure.

Room Tip: I suspect they are all good rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Rooms are modern and comfortable. Furnishings first rate. Nice views of harbor. Quiet.
Hotel is very well cared for, and staff is friendly and helpful. Swimming pool area is very pleasant with lots of trees for shade and a nice swim up bar.
Rooms have well equipped kitchens, but proximity to numerous wonderful retaurants makes eating in not likely. One missing feature is an on-site restaurant, which would be handy for breakfast, but they will bring in breakfast from an outside vendor on request. Also, it's an easy walk to the Sunset Cafe at the Grand Case Beach Club for any meal.

Room Tip: For couples, one bedroom suite is delightful. If you want an extra half bath, go for the one bedroom...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

When the catamaran we were to stay on couldn't make the passage to St. Martin, we showed up on the island without a place to stay. We drove from the airport through the Dutch side, looping through Little Beach, Great Bay, Dawn Beach, Oyster Pond, and then through the French towns/ beaches Galion, Orient, French Cul de sac and Anse Marsel checking out most hotels (and a few condo rentals) along the way. Most of them were faded and/or odd, with a bit of an untended vibe. The towns themselves also were sleepy and spare (except for Phillipsburg, which was a traffic jam with Carnival in full swing and four giant cruise ships in the harbor), we were there the last week of April, so the crowds had apparently died down. Anyway, when we arrived at L'Esplanade it was like - finally! A place we could settle in and enjoy the island! No, this hotel is NOT beachfront, but Grand Case is not about the beach - it's about the great selection of restaurants along Blvd de Grand Case. However the hotel has awesome views of the beautiful bay, especially enjoyed at sunset from the large balcony our room had. We stayed in a standard loft room, which was spacious, comfortable, clean and quiet. We had a large kitchen and living area + a powder room on the main level, and a loft king bedroom with a big comfortable bathroom upstairs. We are not resort-loving people, we prefer intimate, unique, well cared for hotels with attentive, kind staff - that's exactly what we found at L'Esplanade. I probably wouldn't bring small children here, it's a romantic couples scene. And if walking stairs is difficult for you, you should find another place to stay. If you like lusciously landscaped, medditerranean-styled private suites, stellar views, and don't mind a short walk down a manicured path to amazing restaurants, this is your place. Drive to beaches during the daytime, or sail for the day in one of the awesome catamarans that anchor in the bay (the best days of our trip were spent aboard Winner Touch (wow!) and Standing Evasion (lovely!)). After cleaning up, and watching the sunset over the bay from your balcony, wander into town for amazing food (Calmos was our favorite, but there were many great options). A perfect day in paradise!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
70 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

This is our second time, after a several year absence (we stayed at sister hotel Le Petit, twice in between). We are so glad we returned. First of all don't bother reading this review if you require the following in a hotel: turndown service, spa, fitness center, on site restaurant, casinos, lively nightlife. Also, the hotel is probably not for those who are immobility impaired. Continue reading this review if you want a low key vibe with excellent accomodations, a terrific staff, killer views within a stone's throw of gastronomic heaven.
We stayed in an oversized loft this time and loved it! The bathroom was beautiful and spacious. The kitchen had been upgraded nicely. I couldn't figure out how to use the stove, but, Morgane, came right up to help me. I managed not to burn the eggs, fortunately! The cabinets are stocked with everything you need, as well. We had ample space to enjoy wine and cheese on the balcony with another couple we met. There was another smaller balcony off of the loft/bedroom area.
Like others have said, they set up you with coffee, one free bottled water, and treats for the first day, which, is a nice touch, since, who wants to run out to the market after a long day of travelling? Also, you can order breakfast to be delivered to you room by filling out the form in the room the night before. There is also a wine menu, as well. The next day, we went to Simply market and stocked up on wine, water, baguette, cheeses, eggs, etc.
The food in Grand Case is exquisite. I wrote seperate reviews of the restaurants. Also, if your too tired to bother going out, order pizza delivery from Antonio's. It is excellent!!! They keep menus in the reception area of the hotel. And, they will order for you, if you like.
The pool bar was a great place to hang out. Happy hour is 5-6. And, Alan serves up a tasty lunch. Our last day we had shrimp creole and a fish burger along with the last bottle of Rose we had left in the fridge, by the pool. From June thru the end of October I was told there is no pool bar service.
The staff couldn't be more accomodating. They made reservations for us at restaurants. We had a late flight and I inquired if we could possibly have a later checkout. Kristin was able to arrange it. I realize that can't always happen, without causing a delay on the new arrivals.
We used the car rental company they have arrangements with so we could pick up the car at the hotel and leave it there when we left. Liked not having to hassle with the drop off at airport. Airplanes routinely take off and land at the small airport next door during certain hours of the day. And, you will hear roosters, as well. after all, it is a sleepy village. The walk to/from the hotel undoubtedly kept us from gaining weight after all the great meals!
We hung out at Grand Case beach a couple of times. Chairs and umbrellas are free when you eat at Rainbow (highly recommend) and Calmos Cafe. Also recommend Friar's Bay beach and Palm Beach on Orient.
We will be back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Around the world
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We were very excited as this was our first time anywhere in the Caribi and we booked a week and a half in late Dec. If you expect anything like a hotel or resort you'd be let down pretty heavily, this is more like a nice apartment compound on a hill overlooking Grand Case. You can call the desk and request anything, but you'd feel awkward about it as this place doesn't really offer any on-site services. If you want a nice apt. in a nice quiet location with upkeep service in the morning, you'll be happy.

Room Tip: Opt for the smaller rooms, everything is well placed and better than the lofts.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, RI
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

We spent a week there and had a great time. It’s everything you would expect from a high-end boutique hotel in the Caribbean. We had a nice two-level suite with a king-size bed, a nice size living room, and a little kitchen. I wish I could point to things to complain about (even small things) but I really can’t.

First things first, if you've been reading some of the other reviews, it should be pretty clear by now: No beach access, the closest beach is Grand Case, the "petite plage" which is small and probably not the greatest in the Caribbean. Second, yes, it is up on the heights, so getting in and out does involve a tiny bit of exertion. I’m a 42 year old slightly overweight smoker who had ACL surgery. I have floating cartilage in my ankle and a bad back. I did just fine. Provided you’re not 90 years old, morbidly obese, in a wheelchair or on crutches, so will you.


Now that we have this out of the way, let’s discuss details:

1. The great:

- Wifi: Perfect. Multiple access points, all great quality. We had three devices continuously connected and never had a problem.

- The deck and the views. Although it’s not that important to me, I have to confess that watching the sunset from our deck was definitely something. Here, you probably have some of the best views on the island. I ended up spending hours up there reading, it was so nice.

- Staff: Everyone is really helpful in getting you help with towels, information, taxis, and everything else. I found that all the people working there were extremely polite, friendly and professional. On multiple occasions, we needed taxis to go to Friars, Orient and the airport, and reception managers kept at it until we had a car. For this, I am really grateful.

- Location: Grand Case is awesome. Some of the best food in the Caribbean can be found here (look them up on Tripadvisor, and take your pick: Auberge Gourmande was fantastic, Pressoir was good, maybe a little foofy). We never actually ordered breakfast because we enjoyed our morning walk every day to the bakery at the end of GC Boulevard. Everything you need is close: Supermarkets, bars, cafes… Obviously you need to try the Lolos for an authentic local taste. Order the fish of the day if they have it. Head over to Calmos Café for lunch. You’ll be able to use their beach equipment for free. If you dive, I recommend Octopus dive center, which is a short walk.

- Cleanliness: I've read some of the few reviews that complained about this and that. I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking that whatever bad experience they had was really out of the ordinary caused by weather, or extreme heat, or something else. Our apartment was cleaned every day, sheets were spotless, towels were spotless, surfaces were spotless, I never saw even an ant. Not once.

- The details. I appreciated that they had an iron and board in the room. That the AC worked great and was quiet, but we could easily turn it off. That the kitchen had a corkscrew and real wine glasses. That the fridge was always cold. That the couch was comfortable. That they had this fantastic free expresso machine at reception (I’m a coffee guy). I loved that we had a safe that worked. That everything worked as expected, all the time.

2. The good

- While the local beach is not the greatest, you can still get to St Martin’s best beaches with a 12 dollar cab ride (or by car if you have one). Spend a day or two in Orient, tons of fun. You might also want to try a day at Pinel, which is kind of cool, albeit a little pricey. We weren't overwhelmed by Friars, but again, to each his own.

- The pool: It’s a great little pool, with a nice bar with friendly people working there. The bar does not provide a million options for cocktails, so stick to the rum punch and you’ll be fine. 2 for 1 happy hour is a nice touch. Pool rarely got crowded.

3. The disappointing

Ok, I guess I have to come up with something, so here it is. We had tons of problems using the TV. First of all, it was an old tube thing from the 90s. Second, service was patchy and we kept getting big ugly messages that we had to pay something (right in the middle of Game of Thrones! urrrhh...). Basically, I didn't go to St Martin to watch TV so the impact on my vacation was close to zero. Further, I've now had about 20 vacations in various Caribbean islands over the past 12 years. And guess what… the TV never works anyway, irrespective of where you go. But if you positively need a 50 inch plasma with impeccable HD service when you’re in a tropical paradise, then this place might not be for you.

Overall, loved it.

This is a fantastic hotel provided that beach access is not an absolute requirement.


One thing, though. This has absolutely nothing to do with the hotel, but there are tips and tricks that are good to know if you are coming to this island. First, bring Dollars, even if you are European. St Martin practices the “parity” system (or close to it). So with an exchange rate of about 1.5, you’re saving a boatload of cash paying in Dollars, not in Euros. You can use both quite openly. The ATMs (there are only two and they are really… really far) will give you Euros when they work. My suggestion is bring tons of cash dollars for the small stuff and pay with a visa for the big ticket items. Nobody in Grand Case (don’t know how it is elsewhere) takes American Express. Before paying for anything, always ask if service is included. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not. So you either assume it is, and leave 5% and everyone calls you a cheapskate behind your back. Or you leave 30% and everyone wants to be your friend.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel L'Esplanade

Address: On the Hill of Grand Case | St. Martin, Grand Case 97150, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Saint-Martin > Grand Case
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel L'Esplanade 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amid lush tropical gardens, affording its visitors privacy without sacrificing its panoramic ocean views. Spacious interiors blend harmoniously with the Mediterranean architecture. Magical sunsets come to you on your private terrace to touch your soul. A delightful footpath leads you on a journey of discovery. We invite you to find your own rhythm, knowing that our staff is there to ensure that your every day is a perfect day, knowing that your comfort is our excellence and with us, you are home. For those who appreciate privacy, enjoy an uncrowded atmosphere, gracious hospitality and seek relaxation in exclusive, blissful surroundings...Welcome to Hotel L'Esplanade. Introducing our new Ti Spa for all of your beauty and relaxation needs! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel l Esplanade

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